As the Winter Olympics Draw to a Close…

sochi-logo…Yours Truly thought to write something about the Sochi extravaganza. Because of my schedule, I saw very little of it live. What I did see fascinated me. It’s been my observation that the Winter Olympics have become more exciting than the Summer Olympics for–I don’t know–going on twenty years now? Maybe longer.

I can’t ever forget the 1980 “Miracle on Ice.” I think it’s the speed associated with them. (And tell me, is there some law that says that the women athletes at Sochi must look like Playboy Playmates ca 1971? I mean really, they were so fresh-faced and wholesome looking.)

Where was I? Oh yeah, the Winter Olympics.

One of the takeaways was that they were a success all things considered. The never-ending quest of the Western Elites to demonize Vladimir Putin failed again. What is this now, the fifth crusade they’ve mounted against him? Although the ostensible purpose of this incessant demonization is because he supposedly hates gays, the real reason is more complicated. I’ve often said that there is still lingering hatred for Putin by American neocons because he threw them out of the former Soviet Union when they were plundering it in the 1990s. There’s that, certainly. But now I believe there’s more to it than that.

Gays, like blacks before them, are really nothing more than “mascots” for the Elite as Thomas Sowell so penetratingly wrote recently. Think of a mascot as a token or an amulet, which can insulate its bearer from criticism and can even confer to him powers which can be used against perceived enemies when it becomes politically expedient. He went onto say that these same mascots can be ditched in favor of newer mascots every so often. Wise words, they should be heeded.

So what do gays represent? What magical power do they confer on the Elites in their never-ending quest to break up Russia and gain unfettered access to its vast wealth?

In the proximate sense, their use has not been insignificant in this regard. Russia is wealthy, perhaps the wealthiest country on earth with minerals and resources in the trillions of dollars. But there’s this pesky problem: Christianity. Bolshevism failed to eradicate the Church. And now, a resurgent Russia presents itself not only as the bulwark of Christendom but a voice of toleration for traditionalists of all faiths. It’s ironic but the roles are reversed from the Cold War. During that era, the traditionalist societies the world over looked to the US to protect faith from the scourge of Godless Communism.

So where does homosexuality fit it? The vast majority of gays are ordinary people who want nothing more than what most everybody else does: to hold jobs, pay taxes, contribute to society, and generally be left alone. Good for them. However for the Elites, gays represent something more and they are being used for their own purposes, which is the dissolution of the traditional family and from thence, the reordering of culture.

This is important. Globalists cannot understand true nationalism, or better said, they hate it. Being rootless themselves, they have no sympathy towards a people who view themselves as a part of a collective ethnos with definable boundaries. That is to say, a people of common ancestry which is bound together by blood and soil. The words “kith and kin” spring readily to my mind and globalists have no use for it. Unfortunately for the globalists, hearth and home, kith and kin are the wave of the future. I think Taki hit it on the head in his latest essay. Please take the time to read it.

Source: Takimag | Taki Theodoracopulos

Catherine Palace, St. Petersburg

Catherine Palace, St. Petersburg

Call me sentimental, but I’ve never seen a better opening ceremony than the Sochi one, evoking Russia’s great past in literature and many other things. The ballet sequence was tops, especially the acrobatics by the black-clad dancer portraying the cruel officer of War and Peace who seduced Natasha. All those hysterics about boycotts and terrorism were just hypocritical sensationalism by those PC jerks that seem to be running our lives nowadays. We Westerners are averse to any discipline, impervious to duty, and disinclined to belong to a nation. We owe allegiance only to ourselves and love only ourselves.

Not so over in Russia, where there’s a mystic connection between the nation and every man and woman born there. Never underestimate the love of Russians for the land of Pushkin and Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy and Chekhov. I could go on and on. As it happens, I’m reading Brian Moynahan’s Leningrad book, reviewed in the Spectator on January 11. The gallant Wehrmacht troops couldn’t believe the ferocity of the defenders. And all the time, while starving and dying in the bitter cold but bravely resisting the Germans, Stalin’s evil agents were arresting and shooting innocent people for slights toward the regime, real or imagined. I’ve always insisted that had the Nazi machine following the Wehrmacht blitzkrieg acted in a humane manner in the Ukraine, the Russians would not have fought as fanatically as they did, especially in Leningrad and Stalingrad. Now I’m not so sure. Borodino in 1812 was actually a tie, and Napoleon’s troops committed no atrocities, yet the Russian soul resisted and it was a soul that had only known enslavement. When black American grunts shot their officers in Vietnam, the usual suspects gave them the benefit of the doubt, using past slavery as the excuse. So what were the Russians, free men, when they burned Moscow in retreat but finally chased the great Napoleon back to Paris?

Modern man has no past and certainly no future. He is uncivilized and unaware of his noble traditions. He is no patriot, but bows to the edicts of gray suits in Brussels as long as they promise him a life of ease, which is in itself the big lie. Modern man has no religion, no loyalty, and no family, just a desire to please himself. Modern man has been indoctrinated to owe “nobody nothing,” except to the Third World.

Which brings me back to Russia. Why was the media so anxious to paint Russia as a brutal authoritarian state with a modern Stalin at its head? A moron in The New York Times quoted the father of four terrorists whom the security services had correctly blown away after the Games had started 380 miles away, thank God, as if he were Moses and had just come down from the Mount. The Sochi Games are being held on the edge of a war zone where Muslim extremists operate, yet the media concentrate on gay rights that are respected in Russia although hardly applauded.

My question is: Why doesn’t Stephen Fry ask for boycotts against anything Saudi or Nigerian, where homosexuality is punished by death?

I’ll tell you why: Because criticizing Muslims might get his head blown off—cut off, rather—and Nigerians are black, hence above criticism and boycotts. In Nigeria, corruption pervades life top to bottom and is getting worse, not better. Saudi Arabia, of course, enslaves foreign workers, stones adulterers, and sticks women indoors, but it’s Putin we go after week in and week out. In 1980 Uncle Sam boycotted the Moscow Olympics because the USSR had invaded Afghanistan. Twenty-two years later Uncle Sam copied the Russian bear, so go figure.

Another thing the West cannot abide with is Russia’s turn toward Christianity since the collapse of Godless communism. Our elite view this as a backward step, Christianity being their favorite whipping boy nowadays. The big corporations, of course, are anti-Russian and anti-Putin because they’re refused total access to the land’s mineral wealth and natural resources. Russia is not Guatemala and does not sell her lands to Western investors. The big crooks, as in oligarchs, are already settled in the West, Britain, France, and Israel. They stole everything they could, bought football teams, laundered their moolah, and are now our problem, not Russia’s. We bow and scrape to these barbarians the way we bow and scrape in front of the Saudis and Qataris, camel drivers who should never be allowed on European soil because of their human-rights violations back home against minorities, women, gays, and foreign workers. Yet it’s Putin who wears the black hat.

Oh yes, I almost forgot: Baroness Ashton, the EU’s foreign minister, I believe—although like in all cons the EU uses different phrasing—is pissed off that Putin is leaning on Ukraine to stop it from listening to the EU’s siren song. Russia is a great power and is looking out for her interests. How dare she? Let’s face it. The EU is the greatest con ever perpetrated, as is the hypocrisy involved in the Winter Olympics and Sochi. As of this writing, the Games have been a great success and all the naysayers have been proved wrong.

Next week I will be Émile Zola—without the talent—and tell you about how class warfare and the British judicial system have railroaded a member of the aristocracy in a manner reminiscent of the Soviet Union.

About GShep


  1. Tim R. Mortiss says

    Ah, blood and soil! Where have we heard that before?

    Though there are several things here I do agree with.

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      Ah, “Blut und Boden!” Right, Timor Mortiss! The idea of genetic virtue, so beloved of the same folks, continues here.
      Well, there hasn’t been so spectacular an Olympics since Berlin! Lots of Catholics crossing themselves there, too, and Hitler put on a splendid show for the world at just the right time, and he had Cardinal Gundyaev, ooops, I mean Pacelli, around to keep things looking the Christian version of “kosher.”
      I especially liked George M.’s ” a resurgent Russia presents itself …(as) t a voice of toleration for traditionalists of all faiths.” Indeed, The Russian Church continues an annual TOLERANT dialogue with the Shiite Muslim establishment of the Islamic Republic (oh how they like that word) of Iran since the time of Patriarch Alexi (Ridiger), while America, feeling so fragile, fears ALL Islam as a synonym of the big Bogeyman; ‘TERRORISM.” Christians, it is believed in America, are never terrorists: “Shock and Awe” just means huffin’ and puffin’. Nothing terrorist about it. Same with drones.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Well, I hear a version of it every Sunday during the Litanies, when the priest asks for blessings “for our God-protected land, all those in civil authority and the armed forces.”

      I also see a version of it in the canons, the first of which says “let the ecclesial model follow the civil.” Orthodox churches are territorial by nature, not papal.

      • Given that the ways of God are not man’s, George, those blessings might just as easily be military defeat, economic ruin and internecine warfare. Sometimes – as the saying goes – if God wants our attention, he has to first get us on our knees.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        “A voice of toleration for traditionalists of all faiths”….

        That makes my antenna rise. Are evangelical Protestants “traditionalists”? I hope so.

        As for invoking “blood and soil”, that’s not the same as asking God’s blessing on one’s land. It’s German romanticism, and we know how romantic that turned out to be.

        As for Russia, I hope it turns out well for it in the long run. There is much to be done.

      • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

        Yes, we copy that “God-protected” from the Russians as well. By the way Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory used to get quite disgusted when any spoke (as is written in the OCA Divine Liturgy RENDITION of the services) of being IN civil authority. He would exclaim one may be in authority, and that there are civil and military authorities, but one does get into them. Look in his Service Books. Then look in the old OCA Divine Liturgy books. Read the prayer before the ambo: in the OCA rendition, we read “those in civil authority”. In His Eminence’s TRANSLATION, we read “(for) the civil authorities and the armed forces.”

        “Ecclesial” as a substitute for “church” or “ecclesiastical” is a habit that arose only toward the end of the 20th century amongst SVS grads and Syosset habitues. I’d like to see the canon that speaks of any “models”, let alone ‘ecclesial” ones. As for the strange declaration: “Orthodox churces are territorial by nature (sic), not papal,” it’s very problematic. Human beings and many other animals are territorial by nature. The Roman Catholic Church is ever bit as territorial as the Orthodox, perhaps more so. And territorial churches may also be papal, there’s no mutual exclusion between the concepts whatsoever. There is papal territory, such as the Vatican or the Catholic “Laender” of Germany.
        The Church is only provisionally and temporarily territorial. This may be noted in the Epistles of Clement, writing from the Church “SOJOURNING” in Rome. In this we are evidence of the Scripture ‘Here on earth we have no abiding place, no continuing city.” There’s no ‘I’m a German”, or “I’m from Russia” in eternity.
        Just clarifying the two visions George sees. Of course, if one feels strongly about “God-protected”, one would have to compare Rome and Constantinople. Yes, God protected Constantinople by means of the Turkish Conquest which did away with the Unia and the “filioque’ there. Damascus, Moscow, Tokyo, all well-protected by the prayers of the Orthodox in them, right, or, rather, by God?
        It seems to me that any reform of the language of the Liturgy would alter that ‘God-protected” to, for exampele, ‘This city (may God protect it)” and “This country (may God protect it).” Oh well, we must be thankful that we have not (yet?) also copied “our Christ-loving Army,”. which sounds almost islamic in its militarised liturgics.

        • Oh, it’s much deeper than most would care to tell. The real translation of “Lord, save Thy people” includes ” . . . grant victory to the emperor against the barbarians.” “Lord of Hosts” or “Lord of Sabaoth” literally means “Yahweh (God) of the Armies [of heaven and of Israel]”. At the Great Entrance when we sing, “Invisibly escorted . . .” the Greek actually refers to a warrior being carried on his shield suspended by spears held by his troops.

          It’s all soaked in military terminology. Even God Himself is referred to as “a man of war” or, better translated “a Warrior” in the Old Testament. The hymn to the Theotokos which we sing at certain times of the year and which is included in evening prayer, “Взбранной Воеводе”/”To Thee, O Champion Leader” refers to a warlord, actually, and on and on . . .

          If we are the New Israel, and we don’t turn our back on God, we should humbly invoke His protection in faith and believe that He will give it. ROCOR was quite happy, for example, to return “For the God-preserved Russian Land . . . .” to the service books after the reunion with the MP.

          God protects the faithful faithfully. However, we tend to focus on material protection. Sometimes that is forthcoming and it is appropriate to pray for that. But worldly authorities can only have the power over us that God allows them. We should be grateful for the spiritual protection of our faith from the snares of the enemy. In that sense, the faithful Orthodox have always been protected, regardless of whether they lived in Constantinople, Moscow, in a gulag or concentration camp, etc.

          • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

            That’s right, Misha. No reason we couldn’t have prayed for “this God-protected Gulag.”

            • Oh, Vladyka, as you know, the Church Abroad did not pray for the “God-preserved” Russian land during the Soviet period but for the “suffering Russian land”.

              I think it is a good thing you are safely retired, like Lev Puhalo.

              From your FB page:

              “June 7, 2012
              I can’t figure out why the other, civilized, Europeans want to keep Greece around. The only ones who were ever able to manage that country for any length of modern time were the Ottoman Turks.”

              Any Greek parishioners in your diocese would have loved that.


                following article also, source

                Sunday, January 26, 2014
                Window on Eurasia: Patriarch Promotes Gay Priests in Order to Control Church, Father Yakunin Says by Paul Goble

                Staunton, January 26 – In Soviet times, the KGB engineered the promotion of gay priests into the hierarchy in order to control the church from the outside, Father Gleb Yakunin says. Now, reflecting that past of which he was a part, Patriarch Kirill is doing the same but from the inside, confident that he will be able to control the hierarchy and use it for his own political ends.

                According to Yakunin, who was jailed by the Soviet state, twice anathematized by the Moscow Patriarchate, and is now secretary of the independent Apostolic Orthodox Church, the majority of the 70 priests Kirill has elevated to higher church ranks are gay and thus under his total control (

                “We democrats and members of the religious avant-garde are against homophobia,” Yakunin told “Novaya gazeta.” “And we say that the danger is not in the fact that someone is a homosexual but rather in what he [may out of fear be forced] to say.” Andrey Kurayev is wrong when he talks about a “homosexual lobby” in the church. “The danger is elsewhere.”

                It lies, Yakunin continued, with the way in which Patriarch Kirill is using the presence of gays in the hierarchy to convert the church into “a political force” that he alone controls. “No one ever has dealt with this theme,” the dissident religious leader says, “because there was a taboo on it.” Kurayev, for all his shortcomings, has opened the door to discussion, Yakunin said.

                “The chief reason and misfortune of [the Russian] Orthodox Church is that the elements of democracy which were in the early church are now completely absent,” Father Gleb says. “That tradition must be restored,” he continued, as part of the purification of the church from its descent into magic and authoritarianism.

                For the church today, he added, homosexuality is a problem not because some people think it is a sin but rather because its exploitation by the hierarchy has “been converted into a system, a social-political lift” that allows the patriarch and those around him to enforce absolute discipline. They have become like “members of the Politburo.”

                “This creates a serious threat,” Yakunin says, “and Kurayev feels this sharply. He is afraid even to speak openly about this [because] he does not want to draw the whole unattractive picture.” But even if he is suppressed, the issue is now more out in the open, and its discussion should force society and the church to change.

                Given President Vladimir Putin’s willingness to exploit anti-LGBT attitudes and his signing into law a ban on “homosexual propaganda to children,” the Kremlin leader has put Kirill in a difficult position: Putin can’t be entirely comfortable with a religious leader whose control rests on exploiting fears among hierarchs of exposure and legal action against them.

                Yakunin pointed out that the current situation represents a kind of paradox. In Soviet times, “when the church was under the complete control and influence of the KGB, it was still possible to explain [what was happening] by reference to the fact that the church was ‘a prisoner.’”

                But today, Father Gleb said, “if one speaks about the FSB, then [that security agency] fears the church [more than the other way around] because in fact the church has been put in the position of the former Central Committee of the CPSU.” That makes what Kurayev is doing all the more important.

                In the past, the Soviet security agencies pushed the church to promote gays knowing that they would be at risk and thus subject to KGB control. Now, the Patriarchate is doing the same in the expectation that it and no one else will be able to control the hierarchy. From the perspective of the church, that is even worse, Yakunin suggested.

                “For me,” he concluded, “what is important is not who supports Kurayev but who opposes him.” What he is doing presents an opportunity for cleansing the church not so much of its KGB-dominated past but of its Kirill-dominated present, Yakunin added, and he thus deserves “all possible support.”

                • Whatever he may say, Gleb Yakunin is not to be referred to as “Father Gleb” as he was defrocked in 1993 and excommunicated in 1997.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Yeah, I’m not impressed either. The Achilles’ Heel in this entire conspiracy, that Kyrill is purposely implanting homosexuals in the episcopate, is this: the ROC is the most vocal opponent of Big Gay in the world. One bishop caught in a compromising position would give Moscow a black eye but it’d be recoverable in that there’s always one bad apple in any pie. But 70? It’d be child’s play for some muckraker to expose the hijinks.

                    • ChristineFevronia says

                      Patriarch Kyrill talked about same-sex marriage during his homily on July 21 at Kazan Cathedral, and said that “the choice of sin” (gay marriage) being legalized in the US and in other countries, is “a sign of the coming Apocalypse and End of Days”. It is treasonous beyond belief to suggest that Patriarch Kyrill is purposefully planting “out” homosexual priests within the ROC.

                  • Dear Mitrich says

                    Dear Mr. Mitrich,

                    You might want to read WHY Father Gleb was defrocked.

                    He will always be Father Gleb to me for his brave work in the samizdat for Orthodoxy. As a married priest, he would be sensitive against the homosexuality issue.

                    • Tim R. Mortiss says

                      I would like to know why he was “defrocked”. Certainly exposing KGB control of the Church couldn’t have helped him much.

                    • Gleb Yakunin was defrocked for his refusal to obey the order issued to all clergy not to stand in elections. Very clear: you cannot serve two masters – see the canons. One can consider him an anti-corruption hero, a professional dissident, a politician – whatever your preference might be. I cannot judge whether his allegations are true or not as I have no independent means to verify what he alleges. Maybe he is right. Maybe he is not. That is not the point. The point is that he was defrocked and is not a priest any more.

              • Peter A. Papoutsis says

                I think the mistake that the good Bishop makes is that the other Europeans are civilized. As for his racist anti-Greek comments they don’t bother me and never have. Unfortunately, these are common attitudes among old time OCA people, priests and Bishops. Greeks, Russians, Albanians and good old fashioned Americans all have racist views we all need to repent from as part of working out our salvation.

                So what Misha, leave the good Bishop alone. We all have sins we need to repent of especially now at the start of Lent. Shall we hate Isa Alsmiry for his derogatory comment of “Tomb Worshippers” in referring to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, or people calling the EP “black Bart.”

                We are all fallen, all full of sin, and all in need of repentance and salvation through Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So let’s leave the bishop alone, except, let’s pray for him and always wish God’s blessings to come upon him.

                It’s better to bless than to curse. It’s better to love than to hate. Let’s all have a great and wonderful Lent. God bless.

                Peter A. Papoutsis

                • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                  I apologize if I led Peter Papoutsis to imagine that I consider ‘other Europeans” to be civilized. I do not. My remarks about the modern state called “Greece” (which is not co-terminous with the Greek nation), the biggest bungler in the EU, are not meant to indicate inferiority of the Greek “race” (not my usage).
                  My teacher of Modern Greek at Wayne State, Professor Maskellaris (Cretan), reminded us more than once that Greeks in Greece STILL speak idiomatically of “going TO Europe.”
                  I congratulate Peter on calling my remarks “racist” while professing they do not bother him and never have. I repeat, Greeks are not a race, and criticism or characterization of any Greeks is not racist or anti-racist.
                  And what a nice way to call my writing a sin: “We all have sins to repent of.”
                  I suppose my use of the term “Grecumenical Patriarchate” is also some kind of sin? I don’t claim that my sarcasm rises to the high level used by the man born blind, but I’m trying!
                  I’m getting used to a pattern: Getting rancor off one’s chest and following it with blessings. We used to call it “having one’s cake and eating it.”
                  As for Isa Alsmiry’s expression, we should be glad he didn’t use “fire-worshippers’ (Zoroastrian Paschal Fire)!!!

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    I’m neither racist nor anti-Greek, Peter. You have no basis to say either of those things about me,and I feel very bad that you say this about me. I can’t explain your feelings; however, as Rackham taught, we are all experts on our own feeligs, so i must accept your own assessment of your own feelings about me. I could ask you to contact a couple of my old college ‘flames,” Amelia Janiotis and Stavroula Stathis, who would be able to straighten you out right away, but I don’t even know if they are still alive—haven’t seen them since the 1950s!
                    Thanks for your repeating your wishes for Lent, or, rather, for the coming Great Quadragesima. Fast. (We are following some parts of the so-called “Lenten” Triodion, but the Fast is still a while ahead of us.
                    And don’t forget, we don’t die at all, despite your words, but, rather, go to sleep, Peter.
                    I actually love Greeks…. and they remind me of the title of a novel by Angus Wilson “Such Darling Dodoes.”
                    Speaking of racism,have you seen that awful movie, ‘300?’
                    Please, Peter, if you have ANY real love in you, take back your claim that I believe Europeans are civilized in any way that Greeks are not, or even at all. Check your words. Your tongue is your enemy.

                  • “Please, Peter, if you have ANY real love in you, take back your claim that I believe Europeans are civilized in any way that Greeks are not, or even at all. Check your words. Your tongue is your enemy.”

                    Are we all commenting on the same quote?:

                    “I can’t figure out why the other, civilized, Europeans want to keep Greece around. The only ones who were ever able to manage that country for any length of modern time were the Ottoman Turks.”

                  • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                    Declaration for Peter Papoutsis’s ‘RECORD” (‘As we lawyers like to say “The Record Speaks for itself”):
                    I believe, teach and confess that “OTHER” Europeans are NOT ANY MORE CIVILIZED THAN Greeks are. (“I think the mistake that the good Bishop makes is that the other Europeans are civilized.)

                    I might, however, assert that Persians seem to be, and always have seemed to me to be, more civilized than Greeks, while recognizing that some Greeks ascribe almost Divine value to the concept “civilization.” I might observe that the Jewish culture and religion was never city-centered or civilization-centered at all, while the same thing may not be said even today of the practice of the Orthodox faith. Whether it is a case of demonizing or glorifying (Syosset or Constantinople), cities are used as trump cards in games of Orthodox intercourse.
                    Misha, I see what you mean. Perhapsm if I’d put the word ‘other’ in front of “civilized’ without the comma, my intention to stress that Europeans are as civilized as Greeks might have been more obvious. I just wanted to preempt another reference to non-Greeks as “barbarians.”
                    NOTE: Greeks only became “European’ in the 20th century: before that, historically, they were as much Asian as anything. It’s just that during the Catastrophe, the Greeks, from their Pontic and other Asian homelands, were forcibly moved to Europe..

              • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                Oh, Misha! You wrote this; “the Church Abroad did not pray for the “God-preserved” Russian land during the Soviet period but for the “suffering Russian land”.
                If you claim expertise in the commemorations used by ROCOR, perhaps you’ll reveal to us the formula used in ROCOR parishes in the Third Reich? For whom did, e.g., Metropolitan Seraphim (Lade), First Hierarch of all ROCOR parishes in the Third Reich, pray in Berlin? For WHOM did ROCOR pray at the dedication of the Berlin Cathedral?

                • “If you claim expertise in the commemorations used by ROCOR . . .”

                  But I haven’t.

                  • Other Matthew says

                    um…whether you agree with it or not Bishop Tikhon, ROCOR didn’t pray for the God-Preserved Russian Land during the Soviet period or even until the re-unification. I’ve seen their prayer books and service books of that time. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not true. Also, the formula in ROCOR in Germany would’ve been the same for Russia and the commemoration for Germany would have been, “For this land, its authorities, and armed forces.” Just like it is everywhere. In fact (and I’m not sure why) my 2011 edition of the Jordanville Prayer Book still says, “The suffering Russian land”. need to accept that you are and can be wrong. I’ll support you any time you’re right, even if you are cantankerous and curmudgeonly about it most of the time. Further, I am not claiming expertise in anything, I am stating facts. If you’d like, I can go ask Bishop George of Mayfield any questions you require an answer to and he will provide the information…I’m sure he knows a great deal more about the workings of ROCOR both Liturgically and otherwise than you or I.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      MISHA, OTHER MATTHEW, Where and when have I ever asserted that ROCOR prayed for the God-protected Russian Land before the reunification? I don’t recall saying that, ever, but if you can direct me to a place YOU have found me doing that, I’d be very grateful.
                      Do you know what a straw man is?

                      I’m sure Bishop George will appreciate the publication here of your assessment of our comparative knowledge of the workings of ROCOR. He’s on Facebook and often publishes material for information and content. Most, but not all, of my old, closer friends in ROCOR fell asleep long ago: Ever-memorable: Archbishop Antony (Medvedev) of San Francisco, Bishop Alexander of Buenos Aires, Archimandrite Nikolaos Peccatoros. Still my frequent and friendly meetings with mitred Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff have been a boon in my declining years. One book I’d heard a lot about but was never available to me, Father Alexander gave me as a gift a year or so ago; the memoirs of the Protopresbyter of the Army and the Fleet, George Shavelsky.. Have you read it? It’s only in Russian. My mentor and predecessor here in the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Virgin Mary “Rescue of the Perisshing” as Rector, Archpriest Dimitri Gisetti, was ordained a Deacon and Priest by Metropolitan Anastassy in Munich and was able to enter the Metropolia when he immigrated here through the kindness of Metropolitan Seraphim (Lade), who gave ROCOR “DP” priests general canonical letters of dismissal. Father Dmitri was mentored and trained before ordination by then Hieromonk Averky (Taushev) and then Archpriest Adrian Rymarenko. I’m not at all sure, ‘Other Matthew”, how knowledgeable His Grace, Bishop George is of ROCOR during the war years…. but I’ll take your word for it that he knows a lot more about the workings of ROCOR liturgically and otherwise than I do. Oh yes, I was really glad to finally become acquainted with Archpriest Alexander Kiselev before he moved back to Russia. The first ROCOR Priest I ever knew was the Rector of the Assumption Cathedral in Detroit, whom I met in 1961, just after being received into the Church. That parish was located on Hubbell just off Grand River Ave, but it’s now located in Ferndale, just a half a block away from where i used to live. By the way, are you asserting that no ROCOR parishes in the;3rd Reich ever prayed for the Fuehrer, not even at the dedication of the Berlin cathedral?

                    • Other Matthew says

                      I get it, Your Grace, you’ve been around for a heck of a long time and you know a ton of people (or knew) I understand that and respect it. You said, “Oh, Misha! You wrote this; “the Church Abroad did not pray for the “God-preserved” Russian land during the Soviet period but for the “suffering Russian land”.” Then proceeded to question Misha about his knowledge of ROCOR commemoration practices in Nazi Germany. To me the quote I provided suggested you believed differently and your comments following it seemed very adversarial, especially when you said,”If you claim expertise in the commemorations used by ROCOR . . .” when you know full well he never did, it was adversarial in tone (most of your posts are and you know that). Did they commemorate Adolf in Nazi Germany? They did implicitly when they prayed for those in authority. Did they mention him by name? It’s possible, I suppose, but I do not believe mentioning a leader by name was the standard at that time, nor is it now. Also, is it at all possible for you to speak without snark or sarcasm? I’m not being rhetorical I actually want to know because I haven’t seen a posting from you that has ever lacked it. Did you talk to your clergy like that when you were a ruling Bishop? That must’ve been rough.

                    • I assume if ROCOR was a guest of the Reich that they prayed for its leader, by office or in general I would assume (as we pray for the American leadership), although I could be wrong.

                      You are the one who brought up praying for a “God-protected gulag”. I pointed out that the ROCOR actually went out of their way to do the opposite and pray for the suffering Russian people.

                      For which monsters would you be happy or unhappy for the Orthodox to pray, the Nazis, the administrators of the gulag, both, neither? All of them were in deep need of prayer and of course, if you recall, the Metropolia wanted to reunite with the MP under Stalin’s rule. How about praying for Khrushchev who renewed the Soviet war against the Church?

                      What about this?: a) We pray for the suffering Russian people and for the Nazi government if we are living under their rule or, b) when we have the opportunity, we attempt to unite with the administrators of the gulag and the MP.

                      How does that sound? Or maybe we should just resume our discussion re the Greeks’ capacity for self-rule?

                    • Bishop Tikhon says

                      MISHA! You are right. And Adolf Hitler’s “office” was that of the Leader, ‘Unser Fuehrer.” or “Der Fuehrer.” The reason I posited “God-protected Gulag” is in answer to and agreement with those who stated that ‘God-protected” is not a declaration of protection by God. After all, I’m sure those who would pray for Ukraine and for Russia would call them both “God-protected”, but only one of them would be beaten: hence, NOT God-protected or anyone-protected. They point out that by using that phrase, one ASPIRES to God’s protection. Thus, if one were in the Gulag, one would pray that it and all its inhabitants would be protected.
                      You are falsely maligning the Metropolia when you write it “wanted to reunite with the MP under Stalin’s rule. First, one can’t REunite with something one was never united with. Second, the Metropolia only voted to elevate the name of the Moscow Patriarch as the ‘spiritual’ head” but not administrative head of the Church. There was no talk of what you insinuate by the word “union.” You asked, What about this “We pray for the…Nazi government if we are living under their rule…” Do you mean that the Russian Church in the Soviet Union SHOULD have prayed for the Soviet government if they are living under its rule?

                    • Without commenting on any other aspect of this conversation, there should be no doubt that the answer to this question…

                      Do you mean that the Russian Church in the Soviet Union SHOULD have prayed for the Soviet government if they are living under its rule?

                      …is yes. But to pray for them does not at all imply praying for their success in sinful and destructive endeavors. We pray for their salvation (and the repentance implied). We pray that under their governance “we may lead a calm and peaceful life…” And even if they are ardent and intractable enemies, still we pray for them.

                    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

                      Brian, let’s be clear on this. You assert that
                      ROCOR SHOULD have prayed for Lenin, Stalin, Patriarch Sergiuis, the Soviet government? Because they need salvation?

                    • If you are asking me if the Church in any country should pray for its governing authorities, for their salvation, and that “we may lead a calm and peaceful life” under their civil authority, the answer is an unequivocal YES. And this is true even of those who persecute the Church.

                      “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…”

  2. Esther Smith Holmes says

    You nailed it, George. Thank you. it was also great to see
    Russian athletes cross themselves prior to their performances.

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      In WWI, the Russians liked the refrain: “S nami Bog” (God is with us), while the Germans used the slogan, “Gott mit uns ” as they charged the Russians. German Catholic soldiers crossed themselves and Russian Orthodox soldiers crossed themselves. Both went into battle damp with Holy Water sometimes, too. I always think of that when I see an athlete cross himself, for example, before making a free shot in basketball. This must keep God busy, helping both sides to WIN!!!!!!

      • William Harrington says

        Sarcasm aside, I have to believe that God is with soldiers and athletes regardless of their cause or the results of the competition or conflict. Otherwise, He could not be everywhere present and could not fill all things and, if I were a soldier, you could bet i would avail myself of all blessings possible.

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          I suppose Muslims seeing both sides charging and slaughtering each other while crossing themselves must find Christian opposition to “Jihad” to be somewhat problematic.

          • Some of the wars that God ordered the Israelites to fight were far more fierce than jihad. Sometimes they were instructed to kill everyone in the other tribe, not just those pagans who refused to convert. It was called “herem”, great bonfires of corpses, etc.

            Jihad is overtly religious – – violent conquest to expand Islam. No Christian religious authority has declared a crusade for quite awhile. Ann Coulter suggested it once right after 9/11 and got herself fired from the National Review Online.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              Thanks for agreeing that Christianity is no more a religion of peace than Islam, Misha. Ann Coulter was not fired for religious reasons but for political ones, right?

  3. Abbouna Michel says

    IMHO, Putin does quite an effective job of demonizing himself, without assistance from anyone!

  4. I have to largely agree with you and with Taki, George. I’ve looked at the situation of Russia in the Western media as one where the Left can’t forgive them for abandoning communism and the Right can’t get over the Cold War (hence all the comparisons with the KGB, remarks about Soviet era policy, etc.). There is something to be said for that view, but also the nature of the emerging Russian system is anathema to the West in general. Neo-con aspirations are thwarted when Russia pursues its own national interest in its “near abroad”, Syria, etc. Progressive oxes are gored by its emerging (very moderate by historical standards) social conservatism.

    The Western media also despises the Russian government’s attitude toward the media. Here, the media is a fourth branch of government, probably the most powerful branch. There, the media is also largely a branch of government, but subservient to the other branches (at least the majority of it is). There is not that much difference when we have a Democratic President and Congress – – the media operate as government cheerleaders for the most part. But when there are Republicans in power, the media is quite vicious in its opposition.

    Here, the media leads society through the way they narrate historical events, the spin, what gets reported and what gets omitted. They shape the mind of the electorate to such an extent that, in the long term, the outcome of electoral politics is a foregone conclusion. Whoever wins, the welfare state will expand over time, morality will become more libertarian, etc. That is the direction which the media have ordained as “progress” and so the entire spectrum tends to see it as inevitable (even if part of the spectrum decides to stand on the tracks and yell “stop”, most agree the train is coming through). As Stalin is sometimes quoted as saying in reply to a Western politician lamenting the will of the people, “You need a new people.” The Western media supplies a new mind, over time, for the populace. Much of what we consider politically correct today (and even some things that most today would agree are uncontroversially normal) would have been unthinkable 50 or 60 years ago. We have Cronkite and Rather to thank for that.

    In Russia, the government itself is seen as the guardian of the popular will and the media is seen as subservient to that interest. It is definitely not the American political formula and gives dramatically less power to the media to “change” society or government policy. We should not forget that Putin was a KGB officer in East Germany and was working in the propaganda struggle with the West. He knows exactly how powerful the press can be and why they need to be kept on a leash and not allowed to impose their own ideology through mass brainwashing. If anybody’s narrative is going to take precedence there, it will be the government’s. We have a very rosy, naive view of the altruism and dispassion of our press. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    They . . . are . . . politicians.

    In Russia, Putin is quite popular, as is the Church. Organizations like Pussy Riot are quite unpopular. They would like to keep things that way and having an “independent” progressive press is thus anathema to them. That is one of the major reasons for the negative coverage from the Western media.

    • Trudge at SmartVote says

      Well said Misha:

      We have a very rosy, naive view of the altruism and dispassion of our press. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      They . . . are . . . politicians.

      I found the below statement some time ago in a rare moment of self-disclosure for a journalist:

      I work in journalism, a trade for which the main qualification is a heart the size and colour of a raisin, but I like a bit of nastiness. Not when it’s directed at me, obviously – that’s horrible and should ideally be prohibited by law – but when directed at others it can be a revivifying joy.

      –Michael Deacon, The Telegraph

    • William Harrington says

      Besides, calling Putin murderous (As Fox did this morning) distracts from our presidents push to use drones as a means of assassination at his own discretion.

      • Thomas Barker says

        One difference between President Putin and President Obama and is that the former regularly crosses himself, and the latter, if you could teach him to, would instantly burst into flames.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Like you, Misha, I’ve long given up hope that we have an independent MSM. It is an adjunct of the Progressive political machine. They are no different than Walter “Duranty who wrote outright lies about Stalin’s outrages.

      Anybody who believes that the MSM and the liberal elite really care about “democracy” in Russia is beyond naive. They are delusional.

      • “The notion of a neutral, non-partisan mainstream press was, to me at least, worth holding onto. Now it’s pretty much dead, at least as the public sees things. The seeds of its demise were sown with the best of intentions in the late 1960s, when the AMMP [American Mainstream Media Party] was founded in good measure (and ironically enough) by CBS. Old folks may remember the moment: Walter Cronkite stepped from behind the podium of presumed objectivity to become an outright foe of the war in Vietnam. Later, he and CBS’s star White House reporter, Dan Rather, went to painstaking lengths to make Watergate understandable to viewers, which helped seal Richard Nixon’s fate as the first President to resign. The crusades of Vietnam and Watergate seemed like a good idea at the time, even a noble one, not only to the press but perhaps to a majority of Americans. The problem was that, once the AMMP declared its existence by taking sides, there was no going back. A party was born.”
        — Newsweek’s chief political reporter, Howard Fineman, “The ‘Media Party’ is over: CBS’ downfall is just the tip of the iceberg,” January 11 , 2005.

        “There’s one other base here: the media. Let’s talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. And I think they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards — I’m talking about the establishment media, not Fox, but — they’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all, there’s going to be this glow about them that some, is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.”
        — Newsweek’s Evan Thomas on Inside Washington, July 10, 2004.

        Neither of these chaps is conservative in the least and each confirm what everyone really knows. We just have a problem doing the math regarding the real meaning of it all.

  5. Michael Bauman says

    The Olympics, like the other trappings of modern corruption, is simply another distraction, party and barbaric display of excess: 100,000 condums supplied for the supple, strong and fast.

    Ah for the days of Trixie Shuba.

  6. And I wasn’t invited.

    The humanity…


    Michael Bauman wrote:
    February 22, 2014 at 10:30 am

    100,000 condums supplied for the supple, strong and fast.

  7. Michael Bauman says

    That is a little over 2 per day per athlete.

  8. ChristineFevronia says

    Monomakhos readers might enjoy this fascinating article about Putin, Patriarch Kyrill, Pravoslavie Ru, etc.:

    Putin and the Monk

  9. Antonio Arganda says

    Recently a piece appeared on Facebook which was subsequently taken down. Supposedly , Putin musing that “Negotiating with Obama is like playing chess with a pigeon.
    The pigeon knocks over all the pieces, sh*ts on the board and then struts around like it won the game.”

  10. Francis Frost says

    The claim that Putin is a devout believer with a monastic “dukhovnik” is interesting. It reminds me of the 1988 presidential election where questions were raised about Michael Dukakis’ relationship the Orthodox Church. At that time, Archbishop Iakovos claimed Dukakis as “my spiritual son”. At the time a friend stated: “such a claim does neither of them any honor”.

    The Gospel that we heard this past Sunday tells us that the Lord will not judge us on our pious religious practices; but on our treatment of our fellow men. Mother Maria Skobtsova of Paris once said: “ On the Day of Judgment, God will not ask me how many times I crossed myself and bowed before the Holy Altar. He will not ask me how many times I recited the Jesus Prayer. But, God will ask me how I cared for my neighbor.”

    As Our Lord said:
    “Not everyone who says to Me: ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord’, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in your name and done many wonders in your name? And then I will declare to them. “I never knew you; depart from Me all you workers of iniquity’.” Matthew 7:21

    We might just review the public record of how Mr. Putin has cared for his neighbors.

    1. When he acceded to power in 1999, Putin determined to re-conquer the region of Chechnya, which had won de-facto independence in 1996. In order to gain public support for this war, Putin’s FSB (KGB) bombed three apartment complexes in Russia, causing the deaths of over 300 ordinary Russian citizens. Putin blamed the bombings on Chechen terrorists and used it as an excuse to re-ignite the Chechen war. A fourth bombing in Ryazan was prevented on September 22, 1999 when residents caught FSB agents planting the explosives. Two days later Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev announced that the Ryazan incident had been a training exercise. However ballistic evidence clearly tied the bombings to the FSB (KGB). This crime is carefully detailed in the book “Blowing Up Russia” by Alexander Litvinenko and Yuri Felshtinsky.
    2. After the revelations of this crime, Alexander Litvinenko was assassinated in London with radioactive Polonium by Andrei Lugovoi, a member of Putin’s United Russia Party, a member of the Russian Duma and an SVR (KGB) agent. The British Crown prosecutor indicted Andrei Lugovoi with the statement: ”We are 100% certain who killed Litvinenko and how”. Naturally, the Putin government has refused to extradite Lugovoi to England where he could be tried for this crime.
    3. The 1999 re-conquest of Chechnya was carried out with brutal force, resulting in the deaths of over 100,000, nearly all of then ordinary civilians, all of them Russian citizens. The cities of Grozny and Gudermes were bombed to rubble. Over 50,000 citizens perished in Grozny alone, buried in the rubble of their own homes by their own government’s ”Defense Ministry.”
    4. The Chechen War was marked by widespread and vicious attacks on unarmed civilians, torture and rape. In one notorious case, the Russian Captain Yuri Budanov, kidnapped a 10-year-old Chechen girl, Kheda Kungayeva. Budanov raped, tortured and then smothered this 10-year-old child in a fit of rage. After the war, Budanov was convicted of this crime; but served only a token sentence. Budanov is even today celebrated as a hero of Russian nationalism for his ‘heroic act’ of raping, torturing and murdering a 10-year-old child. If you want to know why the Muslims of the Caucasus have turned to violent jihadism, it is because the supposed Orthodox Christians in the Kremlin TAUGHT them to do so!!!
    5. After Budanov’s conviction, the Human Rights lawyer who brought the case, Sergei Markelov was gunned down in broad daylight in the very shadow of the Kremlin walls. This could not happen without the collusion of the police and government.
    6. During Putin’s reign, over 300 Russian journalists have been assassinated for reporting unpalatable facts about the Putin government’s involvement in human right abuses and criminality. Among these are Anna Politkovskaya, and Natalia Estemirova, both shot for reporting the Russian government’s crimes in Chechnya.
    7. Sergei Magnitsky was an auditor at the Moscow law firm Firestone Duncan, representing the investment advisory firm Hermitage Capital Management, which had been accused of tax evasion and tax fraud by the Russian Interior Ministry. Mr. Magnitsky uncovered evidence of the theft of hundreds of millions of rubles in tax receipts by government officials. For this he was arrested and detained in the infamous Butyrka prison. He was beaten and deprived of medical attention for his diabetes. He developed gall stones, pancreatitis and cholestasis and received inadequate medical care. A human rights council set up by the Kremlin found that he was beaten up just before he died. His case became an international scandal and led to the adoption of the Magnitsky Bill by the US government at the end of 2012.
    8. As revenge for the Magnitsky Bill, the Putin government blocked adoption of Russian orphans by US citizens. In so doing it has eliminated the one chance those orphans have at receiving the necessary nutrition and medical care they need to survive. Approximately 25% of those orphans suffer from HIV infection. Most of them suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome and / or the effects of pre-natal drug exposure. All of them suffer from malnutrition and neglect. This law that blocked their potential adoption by foreigners in effect is a death sentence for many of those orphans. This alone demonstrates the Satanic cynicism of the Putin regime.
    9. In 2008, Russian military forces under the direct command of Vladimir Putin invaded the sovereign territory of the Republic of Georgia for he third time under he pretext of protecting Ossetian rebels. The Russian government’s explanation of the August 2008 invasion has been deconstructed by Russian investigative journalist Yulia Latynina and the film documentary “Uroki Russkogo” (Russian Lessons, by the cinematographers Andrei Nekrasov and Olga Konskaya. This film can be viewed in its entirety on You Tube in 12 segments.
    10. During the August 2008 war, the Russian military deliberately targeted civilians, bombing apartment complexes in order to instill terror. The Russians and their Ossetian allies carried out acts of ethnic cleansing and murder. They attacked the ancient (5th century) Georgian Orthodox Cathedral of Ghvrtaeba and the Shrine of the Protomartyr Razhden in Nikazi. They then looted, desecrated and burned those Orthodox Holy Places. To make matters worse, these actions were publicly “blessed” by bishops of the Moscow Patriarachate (Feofan of Saratoveand Panteimon of Kabardia). These infernal “blessings” were televised in both Russia and Georgia. You may watch the video for yourself on you Tube at:

    Portions of this documentary plus additional footage are now available with English voice over, titled “Orthodox Occupancy Part 1 and Part 2” at the following urls:

    A television documentary on the destruction of Ghvertaeba and the work of reconstruction carried out by Metropolitan Isaiah may be viewed at:
    11. The construction of the Sochi Olympic site was marked by widespread human rights abuses of the non-Russian migrant workers used to built the facilities. Workers toiled under conditions nearing outright slavery. Their passports were confiscated. Their pay was routinely denied or withheld. Food and housing were both described in video and oral testimony as abysmal. As construction came to a close, the remaining workers were arrested and detained in concentration camps before being deported without ever being paid for their labor. Reports on the human right abuses in Sochi can be read at:

    12. You, George, describe Putin as an upholder of Orthodox morality. That, too, is a cynical fiction. Last summer, Putin and his wife of 30 plus years, announced their impending divorce in a carefully choreographed public outing to the Opera. In this public forum, Ms. Putin was required to take the blame for the failure of their marriage, on the excuse that her reticence to participate in public life had caused their marriage to fail. Of course, there was no mention of Vladimir Putin’s mistress, Alina Kabayeva of their out of wedlock son Dmitri. In the interim there are muted reports of a secret marriage and baptism at the Iversky Monastery in Valdai.
    13. While Mr Putin has played the “anti-gay” political card, in a case of anxiety before the Sochi Games, he gave a television interview where he claimed to have many gay friends and claimed to “love Elton John”, the gay musician. The public posturing is just that: a cynical act to dupe the credulous.

    George accuses the “West” of interfering in Ukraine. The events of this past week show that to not be true. Yanukovich was voted out of office by the Ukrainian parliament after member of his own political party deserted him because of the massacre of protester’s by sniper fire in Kiyv. That same parliament led by former members of Yanukovich’s own “Party of Regions” representing the interests of Russian speaking Ukrainians has now issued an arrest warrant for the fugitive Yanukovich.

    While Russia has repeatedly used economic threats to manipulate the situation in Ukraine, the EU and the US have offered economic assistance.

    In Georgia, the Russians are trying to bully the new government by continual “borderization”; a creeping annexation of additional territory adjacent to occupied Samechablo (South Ossetia) . Over these recent weeks, additional lands in the villages of Dvani, Ditsi Gergeti, and Atotsi have been sealed off by fences and razor wire; depriving ever more families of their ancestral homes, farmlands and the graveyards of their ancestors.

    Is it any wonder then that Russia’s neighbors now despise that still ‘evil empire’, and prefer a relationship to the ‘decadent West’ over the nascent Russian imperialism, no matter what the cost?

    The fact is that Putin and his ilk are on the wrong side of history, just as they are on the wrong side of righteousness. In the end, Putin and his minions will be cast out, for it is written: “The Lord will not permit the rod of sinners, to be upon the inheritance of the righteous, lest the righteous stretch out their hands to lawlessness” Psalm 124.

    In the end Putin, his minions and his cheerleaders will be cast out onto the ever-smoldering fires of Gehenna that ultimate trash heap of history.

    • George Michalopulos says

      As usual, Francis, your liberalism (in the Wilsonian, not classical, Jeffersonian sense) gets the best of you. Even James Carville, who worked against Yankukovich in the last election admitted on TV that he was elected in a “free and fair election.”

      While I will grant you that the situation is extremely complicated (and I will shortly post a map of dozens of different ethnicities and languages in the Ukraine), and that there is a definite divide between the pro-Western west of the Ukraine as opposed to the pro-Russian eastern part, nobody in his right mind believes that EU and Neocon interests were driving the recent coup. They’ve won for the time being but I’m afraid it will be only a pyrrhic victory.

      • Johann Sebastian says

        The west-east divide in Ukraine is an oversimplification of the situation. Halychyna is the only truly pro-Western area of Ukraine, and much of that has to do with centuries of Polish brainwashing.

        From here:

        “Carpathian Rusyns will not stay idle; they have always remembered their Russian roots, and they see their chance of survival only as part of [a] common Russian civilization. If Hungarians swing over to Budapest, then the majority of Rusyns will move to Moscow and Kiev hoping for an alliance. There are already voices raised among them saying Transcarpathia [will] choose [to stay with] Kiev in case West Ukraine gets separated.”


        George Friedman of Stratfor has another deeply insightful article. IMHO the real danger now is that the new government will prove incompetent to acquire or manage an IMF austerity program and, instead of turning eastward, Ukraine may turn toward the fascist demagogues of Svoboda and Right Sektor.

        Well, they’ve made their beds . . .

        • Johann Sebastian says

          I wonder what Bogdan Khmelnytsky would have to say about all this.

          • George Michalopulos says

            verrrry good question. I’m looking at some of the major constituent groups that make up the “democratic” opposition. Right Sektor does not strike me as having a pro-gay vibe or Jew-friendly one either. This is not only going to blow up in the EU’s and Neocons’ faces but in the Ukraine’s as well.

    • Ladder of Divine Ascent says

      “8. As revenge for the Magnitsky Bill, the Putin government blocked adoption of Russian orphans by US citizens. In so doing it has eliminated the one chance those orphans have at receiving the necessary nutrition and medical care they need to survive. Approximately 25% of those orphans suffer from HIV infection. Most of them suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome and / or the effects of pre-natal drug exposure. All of them suffer from malnutrition and neglect. This law that blocked their potential adoption by foreigners in effect is a death sentence for many of those orphans. This alone demonstrates the Satanic cynicism of the Putin regime.”

      • George Michalopulos says

        Thank you for helping to set the record straight. A high number of Russian orphans have been adopted by gay couples in the West and used for sexual purposes, including child pornography. That Putin put a stop to that is IMHO a credit to him.

        I think we have to stop looking at things through the prism of the Cold War and its false black/white dichotomy. Whereas I can confidently state that overall the West may have been on the side of the angels I cannot state that today, given our depravity. Or more accurately, the glorification of depravity.

        • “A high number of Russian orphans have been adopted by gay couples in the West and used for sexual purposes, including child pornography.”

          That’s quite a claim. Evidence?

  11. Francis Frost says


    You are going to have to do better than that, if you want anyone to take you seriously.

    I have provided you with 20 years of documented history.

    You respond with nothing more than a meaningless epithet. You cannot wish away facts by calling people names. Lime “Neo-Con” or “Wilsonian liberal” Such epithets reveal nothing about your interlocutor. Such language simply demonstrates you own ignorance and your lack of any reasonable argument.

    Sometimes, frankly I can’t tell if you are being disingenuous or whether you really are just that dumb. Don’t you realize that resorting to meaningless jingoism is simply a demonstration of buffoonery?

    Why don’t you try again and come up with a credible factual statement that supports your thesis of Putin or Russia’s superiority over the ‘decadent West’.

    P.S. If you think I’m hard on Russia, you ought to hear what some Russians are saying.

    Journalist Vladimir Posner on current events in Ukraine:

    Vladimir Posner about what is happening in Ukraine: I was born and raised in Western Ukraine, now and for a long time will stay in Moscow.

    In the light of the recent events in Ukraine, hear many strange opinions by the Russian comrades from the paid fighters of the West “and” in the Western Ukraine do not like the Russians “to” How should we not stand up for Russia. ” Hands itching to answer all of these questions-help others people remove the rose-colored glasses and see the world for what it really is.

    1. in Western Ukraine do not like the Russians.

    This is nonsense. I do most of my adult life I communicated in Russian cities such as Lviv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk. There love easy, open and friendly people, but like everywhere else, it is difficult to perceive those visiting behaves like Kings. Why not try on the image that you are trying to sew, just stay open in any situation and then you will know the wonderful, hospitable people. For example, as my mom.

    2. Paid militants West of Maidan.

    Let me just list several “extremists”: Elvis Rublovskis-Creative Director, representing the aril of Maidan at night.
    Anna Palenchuk-film producer, promenâvšaâ life abroad to defend their hometown. These days she was a volunteer for Maidana.
    Igor Smailov-Art Director, DJ and project manager-patrolled Kiev, smoothing out his from serving honorably pro-Government Gopnik.

    In these individuals, you can find out yourself. And this is important-not to succumb to the influence of demons such as NTV, Give, First, Kiselev, Nightingales, and look deeper. It is desirable to communicate with those who do care. But if you want to get the views of all parties, then, unfortunately, you can get bogged down in unnecessary slovobludii. “Radicals”, “fascists”, “anarchy” only otdalât you from the pure truth, but these are the realities of the media field in 2014.

    3. How should we not stand up for Russia.

    Friends of Russia, the Ukrainian scenario is not threatened. I wish Ukraine has taken a step toward Europe with its mayors by bicycles, a lack of tough corruption, honest courts, transparent systems; Russia did succeed in sports and creative class who no matter what will create interesting creative product.

    And finally I want to ask one: stay tuned people, make friends with each other and not let the promotion of developing poisonous rhetoric on blue TV screens and Newspaper. Plant seeds of mind, care for intelligence and enjoy the happiness. (Translated by Bing)

    Like · · Share · February 24
    • Andrei Konchalovsky is theatre and film director and scriptwriter. His films are known and loved in Russia and other countries and have received numerous awards from various international film festival Russian 

    Russians, be horrified at yourselves!

    • Subjects:russia & eurasia russia democracy & power Reforms twenty years on Russia in depth Internal Democracy and government Civil society Russia

    Russia’s problems are many and varied – low life expectancy and falling population figures, soaring rates for crime, alcoholism and drug abuse, not to mention ubiquitous corruption. In a country rich in natural resources, half the population lives in poverty. Andrei Konchalovsky takes us through the horrifying facts and figures and argues that things can only change when Russians themselves learn to be horrified by them.
    I chose my title for a reason. There’s a famous saying by Marx, that ‘to inspire courage in a nation, you have to make them horrified at themselves’.

    For many years now I have been appealing to my fellow-Russians to be horrified by many facts and conditions of Russian life, in order to gain courage and the desire to desire. To desire to change oneself and the life around oneself.

    I have long since been dismissed as a Russophobe who holds his people in contempt. That is nonsense – if it were the case then you could apply the name of Russophobe to Chekhov, Gorky, Herzen and Chaadayev – great Russians who wished to awake Russia from its sleep, and not just constantly find others to blame for its own woes.

    The Russian people are not a corpse, to be spoken only good of. They are a living people, full of energy and talent, who have just not yet completed the historical journey that leads to wellbeing and success for each individual. So let’s look for a moment at what is horrific in Russian life today. And anyone who wants to hear good things about themselves can go and read President Medvedev’s speeches or Afanasyev’s folk tales.
    Life expectancy and population loss

    Today I would like to remind you of a few startling facts and figures showing that according to many social indicators Russia is on a par not with Europe and not even with Asia – in terms of levels of corruption, life expectancy, investment in science etc. we are comparable to Africa!

    ‘The figures for suicide, poisoning, murder and accidental deaths in Russia are comparable with death rates in Angola and Burundi.’

    I will go further and say that it is not we that should feel insulted by such a comparison, but the Africans. They at least have an explanation for their lack of development: they had four centuries of exploitation and extermination by racists and colonisers, whereas over the last three centuries who colonised us Russians and treated us with contempt but ourselves?

    We often ignore statistics, and it is true that it can be difficult to grasp the reality behind dry figures. But the scale of the tragedy being played out in our country is so great that I urge you to give it your full attention.

    Museums of Russian vodka seen throughout Russia convey a simple message: drink and have fun. Yet alcoholism has remained one of Russia’s major social problems. With consumption of 15 litres of pure alcohol per head, millions of Russians ruin their health and die early (photo:, jimjimovich’s photostream).
    Russia’s death rate: the last 20 years saw the deaths of more than seven million Russians. This converts to a death rate 50% higher than in Brazil and Turkey, and several times the rate for Europe.

    In terms of population, Russia loses each year the equivalent of a district similar to Pskov, or a city the size of Krasnodar.

    The figures for suicide, poisoning, murder and accidental deaths in Russia are comparable with death rates in Angola and Burundi.

    Global tables of male life expectancy put Russia in about the 160th place, below Bangladesh.

    Russia has the highest rate of absolute population loss in the world. According to UN estimates, the population of Russia will fall from its present 140 million to 121-136 million by 2025.

    The family in crisis
    Other statistics reflect the crisis of the family in Russia. Eight out of ten elderly people in residential care have relatives who could support them. Nevertheless they are sent off to care homes.

    Between two and five million kids live on our streets (after World War Two the figure was around 700,000). In China, a country with a population of 1.4 billion, there are only 200, 000 homeless children – 100 times less. That’s how important children are to the Chinese! And surely the welfare of children and the elderly is the foundation of a healthy nation.

    Eighty percent of children in care in Russia have living parents. But they are being looked after by the state!
    We head the world for the number of children abandoned by their parents. All these figures bear witness to the erosion of the family in this country.

    Crime and corruption
    Crimes against children: according to data published by the Russian Federation Investigative Commission, in 2010 there were 100,000 child victims of crime, of whom 1700 were raped and murdered (theses figures are higher even than those for South Africa).

    ‘Four or five children are murdered in Russia every day’

    This means that four or five children are murdered in Russia every day. In 2010, 9500 sexual offences were committed against underage victims, including 2600 rapes and 3600 cases of non-violent sexual relations (the last eight years have seen a twentyfold rise in sexual crime). Only South Africa has a higher rate of such crimes.
    Drug addiction and alcoholism. Thirty thousand Russians, equivalent to the population of a small town, die annually from drug overdoses.

    Seventy thousand Russians drink themselves to death each year.
    According to WHO statistics, Russia gets through the annual equivalent of 15 litres of pure alcohol per head of population. And bear in mind the fact that alcohol consumption of more than eight litres per annum per head of population constitutes a threat to a nation’s survival.

    Corruption: the scale of bribery in Russia has increased tenfold, and the goings on in a London court battle between two oligarchs have made us the laughing stock of the global business world. The impunity of our judicial system is such that a criminal charge has been instigated against Sergey Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in prison in 2009. In Europe such a thing last happened in the 17th century!

    Russia comes out as one of the world’s most corrupt places (154th out of 178 countries) in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Index, where it is listed next to Guinea-Bissau and Kenya.

    Looking at all these figures one can safely talk of a decline in national morality – and it is our rulers who are ultimately responsible for this state of affairs.

    ‘It is shameful that in a country with such rich natural and aquatic resources over 50% of the population should be classified as poor.’

    And now, did you know that:
    – in the last 10 years 11,000 villages and 290 towns have disappeared in Siberia;
    – average population density in Siberia and the Russian Far East is two people per square kilometre;
    – average population density in Russia’s central regions is 46 people per square kilometre;
    – average population density in China is 140 people per square kilometre;
    – average population density in Japan is 338 people per square kilometre?

    It is shameful that in a country with such rich natural and aquatic resources over 50% of the population should be classified as poor.

    All these figures send me into a state of shock. I am sure that all the facts are known to Putin. I wonder what effect they have on him.

    And it will only get worse…
    The tragedy is that I believe things will only get worse; we still haven’t touched bottom, and the Russian people has still not reached the stage where it can feel horrified at itself and finally gain the courage to ask ‘Where are we living?’. We no longer notice the stink in hallways and public toilets. We are used to people being murdered around us. We are accustomed to the fact that people all over Russia are literally fighting for their lives.

    Journalist Anatoly Yermolin was born in Kushevskaya, a village in Southern Russia which was the scene of a mass murder in 2010. He wrote of this incident: ‘If twelve people hadn’t been murdered in one go, if there had been five incidents with two people killed in each, no one would have paid any attention to it, as is normally the case in our country’. But surely it is obvious that Kushevskaya doesn’t just belong to the Krasnodar region – it’s part of Russia as a whole! Local mafia boss (and district councillor) Sergey Tsapok and his gangsters are the people you put into power by voting for them at local elections! Everybody everywhere knows who the local hard man is, who has connections with the police and the prosecutor’s office.

    The Kremlin is only pretending to fight corruption when it sacks Interior Ministry generals and middle level bureaucrats by the dozen. In the old days they would have been shot – now they get to spend a ‘well-earned retirement’ in Dubai or the Cote d’Azur! Do our rulers really believe that is the way to end corruption? But then you all elect to your local council candidates with the words ‘I am a thief’ branded on their foreheads, and then wonder why corruption rules!

    ‘Russia today is facing a demographic and moral catastrophe, the like of which it has never seen before.’
    I wonder: will it take the extinction of half the nation and the shrinkage of Russia to the Urals, for the people (that is, the mass of the population, not a tiny group of thinking people) to wake up and demand of their rulers not pleasant, reassuring news stories and the usual promises, but the truth, and in the first place an admission of how bad things are.

    That, as you may remember, was what Stalin was forced to do in the face of a German invasion in 1941.
    It is also what Khrushchev was forced to do in 1956, when the Bolsheviks realised they might be called to account for decades of terror.

    Russia today is facing a demographic and moral catastrophe, the like of which it has never seen before.
    There are many reasons for this, the chief one being the irresponsible economic policies of the 1990s that overwhelmed people accustomed to feudal rule, without any experience of either private property or capitalism, and who in seventy years of Soviet rule had lost any potential entrepreneurial spirit.

    So what is to be done?
    As the writer and cultural commentator Mikhail Berg has written (I quote from memory): ‘We live in one country, but we are two nations. There is a tiny handful of thinking people who demand freedom and fair elections, and the enormous ‘slumbering’ mass of ‘ordinary’ Russians. And between them lies a huge gulf of fear, fear of the most acute and dangerous kind, and social distrust…We can fight the ‘party of swindlers and thieves’, we can blame the Russian bureaucratic mindset that has messed up the whole of Russian history, but we can’t escape the fact that a definite majority of the Russian population has not changed its basic mentality for centuries.’ And I would add to that – your oppressors come from your own ranks.

    Homelessness and juvenile crime have remained serious problems in Russia. Pictured is a Russian youth detention center in a remote part of the Urals. The boys, many under 12, are doing time for crimes. Mostly they are there for thieving, but there are a fair number of murderers too (from ‘Alone in four walls’, a documentary film directed by German filmmaker Alexandra Westmeier).

    So I don’t know what is to be done, apart from trying to shake people up and make them horrified at themselves. Yulia Latynina thinks me not only a pessimist, but a de-motivator. I think one can motivate someone who is conscious and wants to be saved. But what if he is unconscious or in a lethargic doze? Sometimes, to bring someone round, a doctor will slap their cheeks.

    I know what you will say to that, but I know that if a third of the people who will read these words agree with me, Russia would be a different place.

    ‘I don’t know whether Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has it in him to proclaim the equality of all before the law. If he does have it in him, he will win himself a prominent place in the Pantheon of Russian history. If not…’
    I am convinced that Russia needs a leader with the daring of Peter the Great, who would tell people things they haven’t heard for a long time. The truth will be bitter, for it is difficult to accept that the reason why Russia cannot move forward is because it doesn’t want to admit to itself how far it lags behind Europe in terms of developed civilisation. Only a clear and inspiring message – let it be harsh, so long as it is invigorating and sincere – can provide an impetus for the nation to awake from its feudal torpor.

    Only if that happens can one hope that the nation’s instinctive wisdom will prompt it to take the hard and possibly unforgiving road which is the only way to drag our country out of the pit in which it currently languishes. I don’t know whether Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has it in him to take such a suicidal step, to take the bull by the horns and proclaim the equality of all before the law. If he does have it in him, he will win himself a prominent place in the Pantheon of Russian history. If not…

    I am a Russian and I miss my country, because I don’t see it! I don’t see a country of which I want to be proud. I see a crowd of unhappy, frustrated faces and people alienated and afraid of one another. I want to be proud of my country, and instead I am ashamed of it. When did I last feel any pride in Russia? I don’t remember! But I know for a fact that if the truth, the truth about the situation our people find themselves in, were to be shouted loud and clear to the whole world, I would feel even more pride than if our hockey team were to win gold at the Olympics.

    About the author
    Andrei Konchalovsky is theatre and film director and scriptwriter. His films are known and loved in Russia and other countries and have received numerous awards from various international film festivals.

    This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 licence. If you have any queries about republishing please contact us. Please check individual images for licensing details.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Dear-to-Christ Francis, before you continue throwing stones at how awful Russia is, please take a closer look at the pathology that plagues our fair land. As for Putin being an “authoritarian” what do you call our beloved President? His own Attorney General informed the states’ attorneys general that they did not have to enforce any laws they didn’t like. I’ll leave the drone business alone for now.

      As for population density in Siberia, well, can you blame them? It’s friggin’ cold there. Who wants to live there? What’s the population density of Alaska?

      As for calling you a Wilsonian or a neo-con, you may or may not be. That is not the point. Your desire to ram our values down the throats of different nations puts you in the service of this horrible ideology.

      • Peter A. Papoutsis says

        Hey George, sorry to interrupt, but did you see what Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona do? She vetoed the religious freedom bill. Putting aside the fact that the national GOP violated State sovrgentry by telling a State governor what to do, I guess the 10th Amendment means nothing to them, but once again the GOP, the so-called “Jesus” party betrayed us religious folk and painted our religious beliefs like racist beliefs.

        Why are we supporting the GOP? Well for me and my house we shall serve The Lord and NOT the GOP.

        Peter A. Papoutsis

  12. Francis Frost says

    And one more thing: (from the Moscow Times)

    Sex abuse allegations at Orthodox seminary stir controversy

    by Anna Arutunyan at 15/01/2014 17:44

    A weeks-long scandal has been simmering within the Russian Orthodox Church after an outspoken cleric publicized accounts of a church probe into sexual harassment at a Kazan seminary.

    Archdeacon Andrei Kurayev – a controversial theology professor who ruffled feathers within the church for his support of jailed members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot – claimed that he was fired from the Moscow Spiritual Academy on Dec. 30 for exposing the sexual harassment probe.

    Since then, Kurayev has continued publishing sexual abuse complaints from other seminarians and lay brothers, and his allegations are clashing with increasingly tough rhetoric coming from church leaders condemning homosexuality.

    The reports of homosexual harassment within the church come against a backdrop of a controversial law banning the promotion of non-traditional sexual relations, calls for criminalizing homosexuality outright, and increasing criticism of the Kremlin for aligning itself with the church.

    Sexual abuse probe

    Reports first appeared in local media that the church’s educational body had sent a delegation to the Kazan Spiritual Seminary on Dec. 13 to check allegations of sexual abuse. “Among complaints [read out by the delegation to students], two [students] described how they fell victim to sexual harassment from one of the priests,”, an online news portal in Kazan, reported on Dec. 15, citing an unnamed source at the seminary.

    “One student accidentally found himself at a dinner party with the said priest, who sat him on his lap and tried to grab his sexual organ.” Another student, according to the complaints, reportedly suffered an attempted sexual assault by the priest at a sauna after being given alcohol.

    According to the report at, a number of other students confirmed similar complaints when asked by the delegation.

    Archpriest Maxim Kozlov, who headed the delegation, declined to be interviewed for this article. The Education Committee of the Russian Orthodox Church – the body which sent the delegation – could not be reached for comment.

    But Oleg Sukhanov, a spokesperson for the Moscow Spiritual Academy, where Kozlov is a professor, confirmed that the probe had taken place. “[Kozlov] went to the seminary and conducted a probe,” Sukhanov told The Moscow News. “Based on the results of the probe, the priest named in the complaints was fired.”

    Asked whether the Dec. 13 probe had confirmed anything, a top-ranking priest at the Kazan seminary, Father Roman Modin, told The Moscow News that “it would be more correct if you do not [write] about such things because the church is a closed corporation,” and that only journalists who have “Christian competency” should write about such topics. Modin refused to comment further.

    Hushing up scandals?
    The reports appear to echo widespread complaints of priests forcing homosexual relations on novices in exchange for helping them move up the career ladder.

    “This issue exists, but in the Moscow diocese it’s all hushed up behind seven seals,” said a former nun who spent nearly two decades at a Moscow region monastery. “A lot of it occurs in the [Moscow diocese],” the nun, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, added. “I know of several young men who left the church. To get a good position they had to go engage in [sexual] relations with the priest or the deacon. They were promised apartments, cars, travel.”

    Since being fired in December, Kurayev has reposted on his LiveJournal an outpouring of complaints similar to those that came from the Kazan seminary. “It was fun, but with time the spiritual life was only a background, inside there was only debauchery,” said one LiveJournal user who subsequently deleted his account, describing his experiences of volunteering in a Tver church starting at the age of 16. “Two months passed like that. I got expensive clothes and the archbishop would kiss me on the lips with tongue and pat my bottom right during the evening service.”

    “Of course there is a [gay lobby within the church],” said an informed source close to senior church officials in Moscow. “But even if there were a [political] will, it would be impossible to get rid of it.”

    The policy, the source said, was to hush up scandals if they surfaced, much as the Catholic Church had done with similar scandals in Europe until widespread court cases pushed them to the fore.

    The source, however, believed that Kurayev’s decision to start the debate on homosexual relations within the church was ultimately motivated by publicity.

    Kurayev has said that he published the complaints because he wanted to support Maxim Kozlov’s probe into allegations at the Kazan seminary. He added that he didn’t see how he could take the investigation further.
    “I don’t see potential for a criminal investigation,” Kurayev told The Moscow News. “The victims themselves have to come forward, not me. That depends on whether they are prepared to go public with this, and whether they believe they will get a fair hearing within a court trial. Finally, any person who has faced sexual harassment knows how hard it is to put forth allegations, that the other party will simply deny them.”
    The next move, Kurayev said, must come from the church.

    Church response
    The Moscow Spiritual Academy has denied that Kurayev was fired in connection with the sexual abuse allegations, citing as the real reason his outspoken comments on a number of issues in the past that clashed with the church position.

    “For there to be a basis to accuse someone of such a heinous sin as forcing those in his ward into sexual relations, there needs to be real evidence,” Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, a spokesman for the church, told The Moscow News when asked whether the church planned to investigate the allegations of sexual abuse further. “I do not know what was obtained in the course of the probe into the Kazan seminary.”

    “So far, Father Andrei [Kurayev] is merely publishing anonymous texts,” Chaplin added. “It looks like he began this campaign when he understood that he was going to be fired from the Moscow academy.”

    “In order for the allegations to stop being anonymous, the [victims] need to be certain that the case will be investigated seriously,” Kurayev said. “This is about the honor of the church, about the fate of hundreds of thousands of people who are watching all this in horror.”

    Kurayev’s allegations were coming to the fore as another gay-related controversy picked up momentum. Last week, former-priest-turned-actor Ivan Okhlobystin wrote a letter to President Vladimir Putin urging a referendum on reinstating prison terms for homosexuality.

    In the Soviet Union, homosexuality was a crime punishable by up to five years in prison. That law was scrapped in 1993. The current laws against promotion of non-traditional sexual relations, which Putin signed into law this summer, were not enough, said Okhlobystin, who in December said that gays should be burned alive.

    “Homosexual relations undermine morals, they are suicidal for a nation,” Chaplin told The Moscow News when asked about his views on Okhlobystin’s letter. “It is as much of an unacceptable vice as theft and murder. This should be put up for public discussion.”

    Read other articles of the print issue “The Moscow News #01-02”

  13. Francis Frost says

    George Michalopulos wrote:

    Dear-to-Christ Francis

    Dear George:

    Please stop ape-ing Bishop Basil. Such an address from Saidna is natural and comforting.

    From you, it is treacly, unnerving and frankly weird. Ugh

    Here’s a useful Ukrainian phrase for you: “Tuzhe weirdo! “”

    • George Michalopulos says

      I’m sorry you feel that way. I didn’t mean to unnerve you from debating my factual counter-arguments.

    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      I think there must be pollutants in that bathtub gin!
      “Ape-ing?” Bold type face? What’s “Tuzhe?” Or else he just lost it?

  14. “But wait, don’t worry, as long as we figure out Canon 28, the Third Rome Theory of Moscow, who gets jurisidction over the muslim dominated Qatar, the OCA autocaphalacy, the agenda of those nasty Greeks, or non-Greeks San Bishop Tikhon, and make sure no foreign bishops steps foot on our sacred United States of America ALL WILL BE WELL!”
    Has a study of the political/moral views of the archons ever been made?

  15. Peter A. Papoutsis says (February 28, 2014 at 4:49 pm) :

    Check this book out, “Meditations on the Divine Liturgy.”

    Looks like a very interesting read. I just put it on my wish list.



    It’s scandalous that this drivel is still in print.

    Gogol’s pseudomystical symbology of the Divine Liturgy is so far off course as to be nothing more than fairy tales based on the New Testament. Surely, our liturgical movements are meaningful and symbolic, but they don’t mean and symbolize what Gogol thinks they do.

    Gogol’s workt was written at a time and in a place when eucharistic participation was at an all-time low, and people needed some — any — reason to be in church.

    Thank Heaven, since Gogol’s meandering thoughts, most of us have come to understand what we pray and activate it in our spiritual lives.

    • Peter A. Papoutsis says

      I had no idea. It had a printing date of February 2, 2014. Must be a reprint date. Oh we’ll, live and learn. I will soon remove it from my wish list


    • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

      In the 60s, those meditations were one of the few Orthodox publlcations around. No one ever taught that they were anything but pious MEDITATIONS of a devout Russian Orthodox Christian, but they were never the “fairy tales’ that the humble monk James decrees that they are. They are the thoughts of a poet. On the other hand, the Soviet Encylopedia was absolutely a VICIOUS about Gogel as a neurotic, even as deranged. They did a MUCH better hatchet job on him that Monk James has done.
      I notice how the Monk, so soon after hearing the Gospel of the Publican and Pharisee, came out with; ‘Thank Heaven….most of us have come to understand what we pray and activate it in our spiritual lives” (unlike that Gogol over there?). Those Meditations used to be available wherever any Orthodox literature in English was available. Peter Papoutsis once again reminds me how old and therefore out of touch I am!
      But I am thankful for Amazon in many ways.

  16. Peter,

    Does look interesting. It’s being published by Holy Trinity, has a favorable mention in an orthodoxinfo article and is advertised on ROCOR’s Eastern diocese page. Don’t see anything negative about it. Along side a few other works, it seems to be a familiar standard regarding the liturgy.

    I read what could be accessed as a preview on Amazon, looks peachy keen to me. There is a 19th century sentimentality evident but . . . well, I like that. It adds a devotional air to the exposition.